Vancouver man, 19, drowns while inner-tubing in Cowlitz County

Vancouver man, 19, drowns while inner-tubing in Cowlitz County
Austin Wolford.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A 19-year-old man drowned in Yale Reservoir in Cowlitz County, sheriff’s deputies said.

Austin H. Wolford slipped off his inner tube on Sunday and couldn’t get back on. He tried to swim to shore, but couldn’t make it. His friends said he wasn’t a strong swimmer.

Wolford’s girlfriend’s father tried to rescue him, but Wolford had already gone under and couldn’t be found.

His body was found Monday morning near the spot where he went under.

Through a friend, the family released the following statement:

The Wolford family is understandably heartbroken in the face of this tragedy, but would like to thank the Community for the immediate outpouring of support.

Austin was a 2013 graduate of Heritage High School in Vancouver, where he was a three-sport athlete, in baseball, football, and wrestling.  Austin was well known by family, friends, and former teachers as a courteous, helpful, and dependable young man.  He will be sorely missed.

For those wishing to help the Wolford family with funeral expenses, an account has been set up at Columbia Credit Union under "The Austin Wolford Memorial Fund."  Donations can be made at any Columbia Credit Union branch.  Additionally, for those outside the area who wish to help, a secure account has been created at GoFundMe.com under "Austin Wolford Memorial Fund" (
http://www.gofundme.com/b4oqkc ).

Again, on behalf of the Wolford family, thank you for your continued prayers and support.